Implementation Methodology and Best Practices

Steve Kusnit and Liz King

By: Steve Kusnit and Liz King

Edited by: Mark Zisholtz

Typically, implementation is the key first step following the close of a deal where the selling organization has the opportunity to demonstrate its competence and make the buyer feel confident in their vendor decision. Hence, the Implementation Team is in prime position to set the working tone of the relationship with a new client before the Operations Team digs in and runs the day-to-day.

However, before we implement a solution, we first look to understand the current state of our client’s contingent workforce management program. The process begins with an in-depth discovery and evaluation in which we review existing workflows to uncover opportunities for process improvements and efficiencies. After the discovery phase is complete, we move into the design and implementation of the solution.

Our implementation experts define our client’s ideal program, future-proofing it to ensure optimal efficiency, automation and program support across the entire contingent labor continuum—from procurement to payment. Then, we map the current state to that future state, develop a roadmap to bring it to life, and begin your business transformation.

Among many other benefits, our approach ensures:

- Discovery of hard and soft cost savings from process streamlining and re-engineering

- Reallocation of resources devoted to managing contingent labor, including IT, contracts, buyers, accounts payable, and resource management

- Implementation of compliance and risk mitigation best practices (note: we design the program to provide auditable data for SOX compliance)

- Process automation via e-procurement services, enabling hiring managers to spend less time placing orders, approving time and managing spend

Below is a list of Implementation Best Practices that our Implementation Team drafted. These Best Practices are universally applicable to payrolling, IC compliance, MSP, RPO, and other contingent workforce programs.

- Experienced project team members dedicated to building and maintaining excellent client relationships

- Disciplined project management based on Project Management Institute (PMI®) principles, which allows for flexibility to fully support client-specific needs

- Identify key stakeholders and project team members (in the absence of input from the correct resources, projects may slow down, stall or parts of it repeated)

      - Make sure to include everyone that will be critical to the success of the project, which may include:

          - Steering Committees and Stakeholders

          - Program or Project sponsors

          - Hiring Managers (or Business Unit leaders) who will utilize the system

- Identify pertinent information ahead of time •What is making the client switch solutions? What are the drivers?

      - What are things the client would like to have that they did not previously have?

      - Determine the pros and cons of a solution based on amount of labor spend

      - Are there any other client initiatives that may conflict with the timing of this implementation and require shared resources (hence, the timeline and expectations need to be adjusted accordingly)?

- Plan the project in advance

       - Initially, develop a high level project plan that can be revised and tweaked as more information becomes available

      - Identify potential resources and how best to utilize their skills for project

      - Review lessons learned from previous implementations and implement them, as appropriate

- Review KPIs and SLAs with the client. Set expectations and engage Operations to deliver!

- A thorough, multi-channel change management and communications process based on a high-touch, hands-on approach that includes all client stakeholders and program audience members

      - This is key for a successful implementation. Among other reasons, effective change management builds confidence and demonstrates that a proper vendor choice has been made.

      - Ensure that resources are made available to answer user questions

- Actively listen to the client’s needs, propose solutions, and tell the client when better solutions are available

      - Interview the client and listen attentively to their needs, wants, and desires

      - Pick the client’s brain and ask engaging questions. (Most people are not tech-savvy and have a hard time conveying what they want in a solution)

      - Interject ideas of your own that produce cost savings, enhanced quality, and/or a quicker rollout

- Perform extensive testing on all systems

      - A GAP analysis should be done on the Legacy system.

      - Testing should include: Smoke, QA, Internal, User Acceptance, Regression, and End-to-End

      - The above testing should be performed on any new, integrated, 3rd party, or downstream applications that will be impacted

- Get clients and their teams that will be impacted on your side

      - Spread the word, motivate them, show them that the solution will make their lives easier as most people oppose technology changes; Client buy-in on the new program throughout the organization

- Try to eliminate as many manual processes as possible

      - If the purpose is to become automated; this is a necessary evil

      - Manual processes leave room for a lot of human error

      - It will make reporting and auditing much cleaner

- Deliver efficient training

      - Develop presentation decks

      - Quick reference guides and FAQs

      - Recorded Trainings

      - Interactive Training

      - Make training FUN. Seriously. Training is far too often boring. Engage the audience. Set the tone!

About the Authors:

Steve Kusnit is a PMI-Trained, Six-Sigma-Certified Services and Solutions professional with 13 years of experience Implementing and Managing MSP/VMS Programs across multiple industries, including: telecom, energy, transportation, government, healthcare, food and agriculture, pharmaceutical, and retail. Over the past 3 years, he has focused his professional energies in leading many successful Payrolling and IC Validation Program Implementations for HireGenics throughout the US and Canada.

Liz King is an IT Project Manager with more than 15 years of experience implementing MSP, VMS, and ERP solutions. She has a background in project management, business analysis, system testing, and training. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, traveling, salsa dancing, and karaoke.